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Opinions About Carer's Drop In Sessions - Carers UK Forum

Opinions About Carer's Drop In Sessions

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I have been asked to help set up & run a new regular carers drop in session. It will be once a month. I will be there with a paid worker who will be available for advice, signposting etc etc.

People on these boards have expressed both positive & negative opinions of various groups they have attended so I wanted to ask you all for your opinions.

What is a good Carer's Drop In. What would you want from it?

The initial idea is to provide help & advice both immediate & ongoing as required. We will allso be seeing if we could courage a support group to develop where people come to let off steam & not just information or help though that would always be available.

Any thoughts about what you feel could be included to make it a supportive group for local carers would be much appreciated. Any "definitely don't do" s will also be welcome.
No suggestions really Debra as I think you seem to have it covered Image

But just wanted to say - Good Luck and hope your venture works out Image
dont forget many carers who may wish to join / visit the drop in center , will be unable to do so due to no support for the person they care for , for many day care is expensive that is if they dont have someone maybe a friend or neighbour who could help them with a few hours care.....
I belong to a Parent Carers group who go for a walk around once a month and then out to lunch. All age groups and no problem if a caree comes along, as we all just take it in our stride.We do easyish walks, so wheelchairs are not a problem. I haven't been able to go for a few months,and do miss the outing.
Other Carers may hate that idea and prefer a session where they are pointed in the direction of different services that they or their caree might need.
I have also been to groups where we have had relaxation and aromatherapy,but that is very much a love/hate thing.I loved it.The lady next to me cried because she felt panicky during the relaxation.

Best of luck Debra. It might be worth asking people when you first open your doors,about what they would like to get from this.
My friend runs a fibro support group, but the principle is the same. One of them does the official meet and greet for new members, as in taking general details, giving info about the group and introducing them gently into the group. They also get a 'welcome' pack with helpful leaflets pointing them where to get help, with a 'don't be afraid to ask' welcome letter.
For some meetings they have a speaker, for some they just have a general sit and chat and for others they have something that has been specifically requested by a member, e.g. relaxation.
So it's mainly led by what the members went and it's very popular.
I'm all for it. When I was at Uni the prevailing mantra was "Tune in, turn on, drop out" and I have always, faithfully , bought a packet of Tunes every week since then. Image Image Image

Cmon guys, "drop in/drop out, " what's the difference. ( you know you wancha!) Well honestly?
Thanks very much for your suggestions & comments.

I think a welcome letter with some basic phone numbers, names etc is an excellent idea. We do have a leaflet for the charity with their phone number & details but one as a specific welcome to the group is a brilliant idea. Myself & the paid worker will be running it regularly so our names would be good to include there & any information specific to that venue.

Outings is something I am keen to push - for people with & without carees. In fact I mentioned it just the other day to our office manager. We do have the chance to rent a charity beach ht locally which I feel may provide a good focus for people for a day out - it comes with all the facilities & is close to toilets (inc. disabled) & a cafe. It is a starting thought but I love the ideas of walks & relaxation sessions.

I take on board your comments, George. The charity has a pot of money to provide a sitting service for people who want to attend caring sessions including a drop in - not ideal for all but something.

Thanks very much for the support, encouragement & suggestions. Very much appreciated.
I am now off to design a welcome letter!
Hi Debra,

just wanted to wish you lots of luck. In June I went for to a carers group for the 1st time. Although it was the last meeting before the summer holidays, the chair and another worker took my email details as they had trips planned for the summer. I was also promised dates for future meetings in advance. Unfortunately, I have had no further correspondence with the group so I think the idea of a welcoming letter is a good idea.
I have run various groups over the years, and belonged to many. The venue is so important, space, tea, coffee, relaxing. Too noisy, too cold, poor parking are always my biggest hates. I also hate it when everyone knows everyone else and newcomers are not made welcome. It's really important that newcomers are welcomed for the first three and four meetings, not just the first (BAD experience with the local WI makes me write that one!) It's also nice if there can be some sort of activity available, so that people can either watch or join in, knit and natter sort of thing, or a free mini massage from a beauty company (I had one at the New Forest Show, bliss, especially when you've been on a steam traction engine!); or even a pub lunch. Some groups I've belonged to have had a separate room for the caree, I have mixed thoughts on that. So much depends on the people in the group. If you have a core of three or four people who can be trusted to "meet and greet"; and to keep the tea and coffee flowing (and buy it ready for the next meeting); and to do the housekeeping role of putting out tables and chairs, tidying up etc. then you can just keep an eye on things and try to see if everyone is OK. After two or three meetings you'll easily pick up on who is having a really bad time, and needs support most. If possible, try and find a corner so that you have an area to discuss things privately. Once friendships get going, it can be really good fun. I had to give up running my special children's group when I started my degree, but looking back it was one of the best things which I ever did. We had coach trips to the Isle of Wight, Swanage, summer playschemes, Christmas parties. My role in all of this was more of a co ordinator, spotting what others were good at, even if they didn't realise it themselves. Enabling people to shine again, when they've been feeling worn out and fed up, is a really good feeling - and it made me come alive again too! Hope that helps.
I used to attend a carers drop in about once a month..it was 120 miles away and I went there when hubby visited his rellies. I was made to feel very welcome and the venue was OK for parking/drop off and we had some interesting mornings. They have changed their venue now so I can`t attend and we no longer have the same family ties with the passing of my two sisters in law.

Sounds as if this will be a super project.............don`t forget cake! We also had a lady brought in eggs for sale, preserves etc., so a wee "bring and buy" table now and again once you get established might be good.xx